Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar on Thursday said that Ravichandran Ashwin doesn’t come across as a wicket-taking bowler after the experienced spinner’s outing in the Qualifier 2 against Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR).
Kolkata were cruising towards a one-sided victory against Delhi Capitals in the 16th over with their score at 123/1, but DC made an incredible comeback to pick six wickets in the next 23 deliveries to put the two-time IPL champions under pressure. On the fifth delivery of the final over, however, Rahul Tripathi hit a maximum off Ashwin to seal the final berth for Kolkata.
The 35-year-old Ashwin dismissed Shakib al Hasan and Sunil Narine off successive deliveries and then got hit for a six off the penultimate ball. The veteran off-spinner ended his mediocre IPL 2021 campaign with 7 wickets in 13 games and a best of 2/27.
“We have seen Ashwin in T20 cricket in the past five years. When he plays T20 cricket, he plays as a finger spinner who relies on carrom balls. When he played for Chennai, he was brilliant. But against Kolkata, he looked ineffective on the wicket and did not seem as a wicket-taking bowler,” Manjrekar told India TV.
“Delhi needed wickets but Ashwin was just thinking of not conceding runs. Axar, on the other hand, was looking out for wickets. Ashwin was in his own bubble during Kolkata’s run-chase. The second Qualifier between DC and KKR frustrated me a lot. Both teams have some dead weight and even Chennai has such players.
“A spinner’s job is to take wickets and break a set partnership. Ashwin and Jadeja were dropped from the side after India’s Champions Trophy defeat to Pakistan as the two were happy with conceding 40-50 runs in their 10 overs. Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav‘s emergence in white-ball cricket led to the fall of Ashwin-Jadeja duo,” he further said.
Axar Patel’s omission from T20 World Cup squad
Talking about Axar Patel’s performance against Kolkata and the all-rounder’s oust from India’s T20 World Cup squad, Manjrekar said, “Axar shouldn’t think that he has been sidelined because of his performance. He was left out because the UAE wickets will perhaps aid medium pacers and Ravindra Jadeja will leave their mark in the tournament.”
Underling the dip in quality of the IPL this year, Majrekar also said that many players this season are well past their prime and seem to be out of form.
“Mumbai Indians’ Saurabh Tiwary was in his prime in first-class cricket was years ago. He still is a part of the Mumbai outfit and he performs too. However, it’s not a good endorsement for the IPL. The league needs players who are in their prime and have exemplary fitness levels. Robin Uthappa has also made a comeback for Chennai. We have seen many such players in the ongoing edition,” said the cricketer-turned-commentator.